Divesites: Zenobia

Zenobia also known as “The Zen” is one of the top 10 Wrecks in the world, sunk in her bride trip to Syria. This swedish manufactured Roll in Roll out ship (same kind as Don Pedro in Ibiza) sunk in Cyprus in 1980.

From the beginning of the trip the Zenobia had several problems with the computerized control of the ballast system.They noticed this issue when they got out from Athens, The swedish company sent two engineers to the boat to correct the issue, that basically miscalculated a little the amount of water added to the tanks, this mistake was incremental. After 4 days they thought the problem was solved, the engineers left and the Zenobia continued her way.

Zenobia’s picture, getting out of Sweden


Onward to Syria the next stop for Zenobia was Larnaca, Cyprus where she arrived on June 3rd 1980. The problem with the ballast had recurred. In Larnaca engineers discovered that the computerized pump system for the ballast was still pumping water into the side ballast tanks and the listing was becoming worse.

On the 4th of June with no solution to the listing arrived at, the Zenobia was towed out of Larnaca as a pre-caution for other shipping in Larnaca port. She was left at anchor between 1500 and 2000 metres offshore to await a possible solution to the problem. All the crew were removed from the ship by lifeboat.

Despite no one died at the time of Zenobia’s sinking, 6 people died at the time of writing this article by diving her. Wreck penetration needs a proper training.

Diving Aspects

Zenobia’s Wreck lay at 43 meters deep on her side, this make the layout of the ship confusing, that together with the huge size of the ship can make untrained divers loose the path. Outside the

Front view and depths
Front view and depths

Zen are lots of features worth exploring, also is worth visiting the lifeboats that wheren’t used at the moment of the evac. More than 100 lorries were on board when the Zenobia went down to its final resting place, and many of them can still be seen. A couple of them are still attached to the main deck by steadily rusting chains, whilst some have broken free and fallen to the seabed. Some of their cargo has spilled and includes industrial machinery, air conditioners, timber, Tonka toys, paint and eggs, which still can be seen. To witness these incredible scenes take a peak to the stern of the Zenobia wreck around the ocean floor. The huge propellers worth a visit as well. Zenobia is so big and complex that it might require several dives to watch everything.

There is a great marine life that includes amberjacks, groupers and barracudas among others.





Side view of "The Zen" and the location of buoy lines
Side view of “The Zen” and the location of buoy lines





BONUS,  Zenobia wreck documentary by Edward Snijders

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